Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, abbreviated as FM, is a disease that causes fatigue, localized tenderness, muscular and skeletal pain. There are studies that claim genetics as a cause of FM, but, the real cause is still not identified. If a person experiences widespread pain without any medical condition for more than three months, fibromyalgia is diagnosed. Depression, poor concentration, psychological stress, headaches, physical trauma are some of the main symptoms of FM. These symptoms may become serious and disturb your daily routine. There are many methods to ease its symptoms, fortunately.
Following are some of the fibromyalgia treatment options:
Using proper medication
There are many over the counter (OTC) pain relievers that are recommended by doctors and are used as a treatment option for fibromyalgia. These help in reducing muscle pain, minimizing the inflammation and also help in improving your sleep quality.
Studies indicate that fibromyalgia-affected people who practice yoga regularly have comparatively less muscle pain and fatigues. The breathing exercises and meditation help in improving the mood and increasing the muscle strength.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment done by pricking needles into the skin. It helps in increasing the blood flow and changes the level of neurotransmitters in your brain. This method is used for treating chronic pain through natural self-healing. Studies show that the people who undergo acupuncture as one of the fibromyalgia treatments will get relief for at least two years. But, there are some side effects of this practice such as soreness, minor bleeding and bruising, right after the treatment. Another risk involved is that, if it is not from a licensed acupuncture expert, they may use unsterilized needles which can cause other infections.
This therapy strengthens your muscles and improves your movements and thus decreases the fibromyalgia pain. A trained physiotherapist can perform symptom-specific fibromyalgia treatments. Studying some self-care physiotherapy and practicing it can help in reducing fatigue. Having a proper pain management education will psychologically increase your performance.
Using antidepressants is a common fibromyalgia treatment that will help you in decreasing fatigue and muscle pain. Although, make sure you consult a doctor before using them as there may be some unpleasant side effects such as nausea, loss of sexual desire and weight gain.
Learn to control body functions
Learning to control your body functions, known as the biofeedback, helps in reducing fibromyalgia pain and muscle tension. Even though this technique doesn’t have any side effects, some people may feel exhausted or overwhelmed after a session of biofeedback.
Practice Tai Chi
Tai chi is a Chinese martial art practice that involves deep breathing, meditation, and controlled slow movements. It helps in improving one’s stamina, muscle strength, balance and breathing control. It doesn’t involve any strain, but if you overdo it, it may result in developing sore muscles and sprain.
Getting a massage by a trained massage therapist will help you increase the range of motions, reduce stress, relax your muscles and reduce your anxiety. It is advised to get it done from a trained therapist, as otherwise, you may get bruises and swelling.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
This therapy works by helping people set a realistic goal. Patients are encouraged to eradicate negative thoughts and identify dysfunctional thought patterns. This helps in reducing the mental strain, and thus the FM pain.
Get enough sleep
Fatigue is one of the main symptoms of FM. Getting proper sleep helps in reducing the chances of fatigue. Along with getting enough sleep, practicing good sleeping habits is also important. Practice getting to bed and waking up at the same time and reduce daytime napping as this may result in irregular sleeping.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Exercising regularly helps in decreasing the symptoms of FM. Develop a home exercise routine that includes stretching, good posture and relaxation after consulting a physiotherapist. Along with good exercise, make sure to eat healthily and limit your caffeine intake. This is one of the best fibromyalgia treatments.
Consult an occupational therapist to make adjustments to your work area so that you can complete your tasks with less stress to your body.
Try to control your emotional and mental stress. Practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing or practice yoga on a regular basis. Take out some time for relaxing from all the over-exertion. Consulting a counselor will help you to reduce stress and improve your self-esteem. They may also advise you on how to deal with stressful situations.
Even though the real cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown, there are many fibromyalgia treatments to get you relief from its pain. Consult a doctor to analyze which treatment method would be best suited for you. Fibromyalgia is a lifelong condition, but still, you can lead a healthy and active life with the proper treatment.
How to Deal with Ulcerative Colitis Flares
Ulcerative colitis, commonly known as UC, is a chronic disease that affects almost 1 million citizens of the country. It is a disease of the colon (large intestine) that inflames the colon lining and the rectum. According to an epidemiological research report, people following a diet consisting of high-fat foods are at a higher risk of suffering from this disease. Also, the Ashkenazi Jews and the Caucasians have the most number of sufferers. Although the exact reason behind ulcerative colitis flares is still unknown, according to many healthcare professionals, this is a result of environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors.
Treatments for ulcerative colitis flares
Fortunately, a wide range of ulcerative colitis treatment options is available that can help to control UC. Achieving remission and getting UC under control are the main goals of these treatment processes.
Immune system suppressors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, inflammation and other UC symptoms controlling steroids etc. are some commonly used medications to deal with ulcerative colitis flares. Removing the rectum and the colon by undergoing surgery is also another process of treatment for UC. However, it is advisable to undergo a surgery only if your doctor suggests and when the medications are not being effective.
Other than the medications, many medical research reports have reflected the fact that plenty of natural treatments are available to deal with UC. These nonmedical treatments include everything from herbal medicines to lifestyle changes. Read on and know some effective tips to treat and control ulcerative colitis flares in natural ways.
A healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is very important while dealing with ulcerative colitis. Various medical studies have shown that people who consume fatty foods are more exposed to this chronic disease. Hence, you need to make your diet chart accordingly.
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, etc are some common problems faced by patients with UC. Hence, try avoiding dairy products that can worsen the aforementioned symptoms. Additionally, it is better if you avoid sugar as the output of the anti-inflammatory enzymes gets interrupted by the effects of sugar on the pancreas.
- Raw vegetables and fruits, whole grains, etc., are high-fiber foods and are not good for a UC patient. Also, avoiding greasy foods and caffeine is advisable if you are suffering from UC.
- You should try to avoid spicy food as it may worsen the symptoms and signs of ulcerative colitis. Moreover, it is time to say goodbye to your drinking habit. Drinking alcohol is absolutely a big no while you are suffering from UC.
- Rather than having 2 or 3 large meals, you can have frequent, small meals throughout the day.
- Drink sufficient water. If possible, consult a dietitian and try to follow the diet chart prescribed by the expert.
Manage your stress
According to various medical studies, stress is one of the major reasons that trigger or accelerate the ulcerative colitis flares and make the symptoms and signs worse. Here are some tips on which you need to work on to diminish the stress level.
- If you keep your body engaged in some physical activities on a regular basis, it will be very helpful to deal with your stress level. Mild exercises help to relieve depression, reduce stress, and normalize bowel functions.
- Relaxation and breathing exercises are effective ways to control the stress level. You can try joining yoga classes. Also, you can try to do meditation using soothing music, DVDs or CDs, and books.
- Biofeedback is a stress-reduction technique that helps in reducing the muscle tension along with slowing the heart rate. A feedback machine helps in controlling this situation. The main objective is to help you to get into a more relaxed state.
Many people use various forms of CAM (Complementary and Alternative) therapy to deal with ulcerative colitis flares.
- Researchers have found some evidence that taking probiotic supplements may be quite helpful in UC treatment.
- In the spice turmeric, there is a compound called curcumin. Some studies have stated that this curcumin can help in lessening or preventing some of the common UC symptoms like gas and stomach pain. Hence, adding this element to your diet can be helpful if you are suffering from this chronic disease.
- Herbs like parsley, ginger, rosemary, thyme, and sage can help in reducing inflammation. Also, Aloe Vera gel and fish oil act as anti-inflammatory agents that can help people with UC.
- Acupuncture is another way to deal with UC flares.
However, even though all these aforementioned natural and herbal ways are quite effective in ulcerative colitis treatment, these can have side effects as well. Also, these can cause dangerous interaction if not taken or applied properly. Hence, it is always advisable to consult a medical expert before undergoing any herbal or natural treatment.
5 home remedies to keep psoriasis in check
Psoriasis is a disorder where individuals experience itchiness, patches, scales, redness, and rashes on their skin. These symptoms are commonly seen near the elbows, knees, scalp, and even the lower back. There are several triggers that can lead to flare-ups and worsening of symptoms, adversely affecting one’s daily life. Psoriasis is a chronic condition that has no cure; however, you can tackle it naturally and help keep it under control.
5 ways to fight psoriasis naturally at home
One of the most commonly used remedies for psoriasis and other skin conditions is aloe vera, particularly the gel-like substance found in the leaves of the plant. When applied to the skin, it can help reduce inflammation and can even tackle itchiness, dryness, redness, and scaling. Of course, more study is needed to understand the role of aloe vera in psoriasis skin care.
Turmeric is a popular condiment that originates in South Asia. The spice is also commonly used to treat a range of conditions because it contains tons of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. When it comes to psoriasis, turmeric has proved to be a reliable remedy and can help minimize flare-ups. You can always check with your healthcare professional before trying turmeric for psoriasis.
A warm water bath can actually be very stress-relieving and relaxing. But, what many do not know is that it can also help soothe the skin. Those who have skin conditions such as psoriasis can try adding bath salts to the water. You could try Epsom salt, mineral oils, and more to help relieve the redness and itching. Studies have found that salt baths with Dead Sea salts are hugely beneficial for psoriasis.
Relaxation and stress relief
Stress is one of the common triggers of psoriasis. It can lead to flare-ups and even cause worsening of symptoms. One of the ways to tackle this is to implement various stress-reducing techniques. Less stress means fewer flare-ups and reduced severity of the symptoms. You can try activities such as yoga, meditation, and even journal writing. You can also try mindfulness, deep breathing workouts, and more.
Exposure to sunlight
Studies have also found that exposure to sunlight can work wonders for conditions such as psoriasis. This means slowly and steadily exposing the skin to the sun for small periods. The ultraviolet B rays of the sun have been found to be beneficial for those with psoriasis. Note that you do not want to step out into the sunlight without sunscreen. You also want to check if this is safe for you with your healthcare professional.
Individuals with moderate to severe psoriasis can also opt for treatments such as Sotyktu™, SKYRIZI®, and STELARA®. STELARA® is an option for children over six and adults with active plaque psoriasis, while SKYRIZI® can be used for individuals with active psoriatic arthritis. Please check with your doctor before trying out any new treatment options.
Causes and Treatment Options for Severe Asthma
An inflammatory lung condition which affects the passage of your lungs is called asthma. This condition is usually a chronic inflammation in the passage of the lungs. The airways of the lungs become narrow and start to swell, which in turn produce some extra mucus. This excess mucus makes it difficult for you to breath in a normal way and that will trigger wheezing, coughing and causes shortness of breath.
For some people, an asthma attack is not a big problem as this does not disrupt their normal life. But for some people, asthma attacks are very common and that causes a problem in their daily activities as well. When you keep neglecting the problem of asthma, it can even become life-threatening as well. Proper treatments for severe asthma are very important and have to be done as quickly as possible. This is a condition which cannot be cured completely, but you need to make sure that you take proper treatment in order to control its symptoms and triggers.
Causes of severe asthma
The main and exact cause of asthma is not known, but there are many causes that trigger asthma. Based on the causes of asthma, the treatments for severe asthma are decided by the doctor. Some of the causes include:
- Excessive smoking
- Environmental factors like polluted air
- Inhaling some chemical or sprays to which you are allergic
- Breathing allergens like mold, animal dander, and dust
- Flu, cold, bronchitis or sinusitis and other upper respiratory infections
- Emotional stress
- Exposure to dry and cold weather
- Too much exercise
Symptoms of severe asthma:
The symptoms of severe asthma are more like mild to moderate asthma, but they are more intense and sometimes they are life-threatening as well. Some of the symptoms of severe asthma include:
- Shortness of breath, which worsens with time
- Tight and painful chest
- A severe cough
- Even after breathing treatment, the wheezing continues
- Difficult in speaking at a stretch
- Lips, fingernails, and face turn into blue color or pale yellow
- Even after using an inhaler, little change is observed in a severe asthma attack
- Difficulty in doing everyday activates
Treatment options for an asthma attack
Generally, it is termed as severe asthma just because it does not respond to any kind of treatments for severe asthma or medicine that is prescribed by the doctor. This is also known as Therapy Resistant Asthma.
Some of the available treatments for severe asthma attack when it is severe include:
- Corticosteroids in a higher dose
- Nebulizer inhalation
- Long Acting Beta Agonists (LABA)
- Oral Corticosteroids
These medicines can be taken alone or along with other medicines that can help in controlling the symptoms of severe asthma attacks.
Change in lifestyle is also one of the often suggested treatments for severe asthma. The changes in lifestyle include:
- Try to avoid getting exposed to chemicals to which you are allergic.
- If you are overweight, opt for weight loss programs, but ensure that you do not lose overnight but steadily and in a healthy manner.
- Do not smoke when you are having an asthma problem. Reduced smoking won’t help; rather it should be a complete NO to smoking.
- Alcohol consumption is a big NO in asthma cases.
Asthma action plan
For patients seeking treatments for severe asthma, it is always good to work out a plan with the doctor. Your doctor will check your complete health condition and severity of asthma. Based on those details, if required, certain tests will be conducted. Based on the reports, your doctor will provide you with a complete plan about how to control severe asthma attacks. It is extremely important to make this plan with a doctor as severe asthma does not react to medicine quickly and that can lead to life-threatening problems for the patients. Make sure that you always carry a rescue inhaler along with you, all the time.
Asthma attacks are often life-threatening for those suffering from severe asthma. Identifying the symptoms early and chalking out a plan of action with your medical professional accordingly could be a head start in the process of controlling the issue. Getting the required treatments for severe asthma is an important step which should not be neglected at any cost.
Small steps in your daily routine can go a long way for you to lead a comfortable life, where asthma might be your content companion, but with significantly reduced severity.
Home remedies for asthma
While home remedies help ease symptoms, they are not effective for asthma attacks. Some of these include inhalation of essential oils like eucalyptus and lavender. Both bring down the inflammation induced from allergies, which helps enhance breathing.
Another remedy is to try the Buteyko Breathing Technique (BBT), which focuses on breathing out from the nose. It raises carbon-dioxide levels, which helps reduce asthma symptoms. Moreover, certain dietary changes like drinking caffeinated tea or coffee, eating garlic, ginger, honey, fish, and flax seeds (for omega-3) may also be helpful.
Omalizumab: Eosinophilic asthma treatment
It is best to try natural remedies alongside prescribed medication for asthma. Omalizumab (Xolair) is a monoclonal antibody that improves the symptoms of eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EG). This is a condition that results in an increase of eosinophils (a type of white blood cells) in the blood and gut tissue mainly due to environmental allergies. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is an antibody that initiates allergic reactions that flare asthma.
In 2003, FDA approved the omalizumab medication since it worked against IgE for allergic asthma patients who were 12 years or older. Patients need to undergo blood or skin tests to understand if they have allergies to receive the omalizumab injection. Precise dose and frequency depend on IgE levels, body weight, and severity.
Reslizumab: Eosinophilic asthma treatment
Reslizumab (Cinqair) is another medication used to reduce severe asthma attacks. It is an immunomodulator medicine taken alongside regular asthma medication to reduce eosinophils. It is typically prescribed for four weeks as an intravenous injection for about an hour.
Mepolizumab (Nucala), a medicine that brings down the level of blood eosinophils may also be prescribed for the same duration.
Doctors may also recommend corticosteroid, an anti-inflammatory medication in combination with a beta-agonist medicine known as bronchodilator like theophylline. Long-acting anticholinergics like tiotropium bromide (Spiriva Respimat) to relax or enlarge lung airways may also be prescribed.